Analysis of Slim Hole Design to evaluate potential costs savings in Argentinian fields

Research output: ResearchMaster's Thesis


A major challenge for the oil and gas industry is to find ways of reducing drilling costs while minimizing environmental impact, preserving safety standards, well integrity and productivity. Despite the fast development of new drilling technologies, tools and materials in the last decade, drilling costs have shown an increasing trend to date. The higher complexity of new developments, their potential risks, the increasing prices of raw materials and manpower, and the recent collapse of the oil price are some of the drivers to search for alternatives that allow companies to drill cheaper wells in order to maximize their economic margins. Slim Hole Drilling (SHD) was investigated with success during the 90s, and although it has shown great economic advantages, the industry did not implement it at large scale. In fact, several years have passed until companies started to think again about it as an alternative to drill faster and cheaper wells. In this thesis, a slim well design is proposed as a drilling alternative to a conventional well in a tight oil Argentinean field. The design was evaluated in a technical and economic basis, and the potential monetary savings compared to standard wells are quantified. This research tries to find an answer to the following questions: Does a Slim Hole Design show significant costs savings compared to conventional well designs? Are they an advantageous alternative? In addition, this work could help operating oil companies interested in studying SHD applications and their implementation in field developments, being this thesis a starting point for future research in related areas.


Original languageEnglish
  • Thonhauser, Gerhard, Supervisor (internal)
  • Ipatov, Alexey, Co-Supervisor (external), External person
Award date1 Jul 2016
StatePublished - 2016